Wednesday, September 15, 2010

United States likely infected by Indian superbug

Individuals in Massachusetts, California and Illinois have all shown up with NDM-1 which is a superbug that a British health related journal discussed last month. Numerous assume the bug came from India while all three cases were of patients who had recently visited India. The first thought everyone had was that health related tourism for British citizens going to India for cheap cosmetic surgery was to blame for NDM-1. But the fact that the American superbug victims weren’t medical tourists is leading scientists to believe the potential of NDM-1 as a global threat is more severe than first thought.

Strong indications that superbug infection came from India to U.S.

All cases of the superbug infection in the United States and Canada can be traced back to those getting health related care in India. According to Red Orbit, there was a woman in California that got NDM-1. While in India, she got in a vehicle incident and had to receive health related care. In Illinois, a man with a pre-existing medical conditions and a urinary catheter contracted the superbug infection when traveling in India. The woman in Massachusetts traveled to the U.S. Before doing so, she actually did chemotherapy and had some surgery. Drug-resistant attacks usually respond to antibiotics. In this case, the superbugs weren’t killed by the antibiotics although nobody perished of the victims. In Pakistan, there was a Belgian man who was in a car accident and hospitalized in Pakistan. He was the first of the NDM-1 superbug victims to have a recorded death.

Superbug may be a global threat

All Britons traveling to India for cheap plastic surgery who contracted the NDM-1 disease were recorded within the Lancet last month. The Lancet is actually a health related journal in Briton. In the Lancet article, scientists describe NDM-1 as a gene that mutates bacteria to become resistant to the strongest antibiotics available. The NDM-1 gene is spread via all of India, says Columbia Broadcasting System News. Bacteria carrying the gene seem common. The NDM-1 gene is being shown other places to be increasing. These places include Bangladesh and Pakistan. The superbug has found a way to get around the world. It is hitching rides with everyone willing to go to the country and pick it up.

There are too many individuals living close together in India

Right now, medical specialists are all together in Boston at the international meeting of microbiologists and doctors. In this meeting, the NDM-1 is being discussed because of the concern of how many people in India actually have it. The Boston Herald reports that antibiotics are cheap and sold over the counter in India. Inappropriate use spreads drug resistance among deadly bacteria. Poor sanitation facilitates the spread of NDM-1, which thrives in germs that grow in the human gut. Timothy Walsh, one of the authors of the Lancet article, told the Boston Herald that the overpopulated, unsanitary conditions in India are going to make the superbug spread widely. Although one or two antibiotics can actually work for the superbug, there are nevertheless more that are needed to fight it.

Additional reading

Red Orbit

CBS News

Boston Herald

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